Little by little

9 Nov

Well, it is November 9th already.  Time has slipped away a little bit since I last wrote.  I spent another weekend in Hamburg attending a healing workshop facilitated by my friend Olaf Cobus.  Then made my way back to the world of Wettenbostel.  A distinct contrast between the two.

It was great to be at the healing workshop again…the second in a series of five… nudging myself out of my comfort zone and back into my body.  The theme for the day was perception… at first mistranslated for me as reception… but then easily cleared up!…We spent time and energy exploring how we perceive… in our bodies and other ways.  We did movement work paying special attention to little things that make a difference… like putting out energy in the back of our legs when we walk rather than the front or out hips.  Just that little change in attention made a difference for me in feeling balanced in my body.  And we did rattle work with each other… we picked a partner and one partner would lie down and the other would use a rattle to shift and move energy.  My partner was a woman named Silke.  She is an artist in Hamburg and is receiving some attention for her unique subject… she paints the night…  Her spirit to me seems to have found a place for being at ease with the darkness of the night.  I could feel the energy move and shift through me as she spun around me with her rattle like a bat.

At one point in the day we got in a circle with one person in the middle practicing standing their ground and saying “no”… or “nicht” for the German speakers which was… ya know… everyone but me…  Olaf asked me to go first and my first response was… “no”… not surrendering to my joke he coaxed me into the middle and eventually I found a way to be in my center and say no in a way that was convincing to the group.

At the end of the day we all came together, taking turns with one person in the middle and collectively gave the person in the middle a treatment.  Within the group we had a variety of experience in different healing modalities… Reiki, massage, and other methods of energy work.  One person described the experience of receiving the treatment like many little elf hands coming out of the forest….doing their beautiful work.  It felt so nice to be attended to and cared for in that way… collectively by the many hands of the group.

I found my way to a thrift shop in Hamburg the following day… newly negotiating the bus system in Hamburg like a freshly hatched chick.  A nice man on the bus who did not speak English helped me to find my stop with basic hand signals… a little nodding and coaxing.  I bought a few wool sweaters for the cold coming in and then happily made my way back to the main train station to return to Wettenbostel.

Since the workshop, I noticed in my being and my body little differences and subtleties.  Feeling a little more grounded in my body.  Feeling a little bit more in my personal strength and power.  Noticing places where just a few days ago I would have wanted to react and finding that I just did not have a need or strong tug to go there… so it is the little things.  Little by little.  Bit by bit.

Yesterday I was going to go down the street to the forester’s home to buy some of their honey for myself.  I was a little nervous about going as I did not think they spoke English… and I have a tendency to be nervous and shy.  So I thought I would reach out to my friend Jörn for a some assistance.  And I asked him and his German speaking self to come with me.  And his answer was “no”…and he didn’t even attend the workshop!  He said that he thought it would be good for me to go on my own.  To reach out a little bit.  The little kid in me reacted…but he did not budge and simply went back to work… So I collected myself and went… to buy some honey.. or “honig” in German.  My host had coached me that if nothing else I could arrive at the door saying “honig, bitte” which is “honey, please”… I laughed as the thought.  As I walked down the street I felt ghosts of the shy child I was as a kid… often uncomfortable to go out and reach out on my own.  But I went…. and they spoke a little English.  And they were friendly and kind… and it was all okay.  And I got some honey!

Little by little.  That is my way in this “Grosse Lebenscchule“… “big school of life” here in Germany.  And then of course… what is the next step.  And for this morning, the next step is breakfast.  It is early on Wednesday morning and I don’t yet hear the rattle of life in the Big House where I stay.  A little time to carve out some quiet in the morning before the day begins.  A day of little lessons, gratitude, and staying open to what is next.

Photo from the gardens of Wettenbostel by Michael Hartley